Music of the Renaissance: ‘Lachrimae Antiquae’ by John Dowland.

The Seven Pavans (Seven Tears) of John Dowland (1563-1626) are, by critical consensus, one of the greatest works in the canon of English chamber music. Based on Dowland’s famous song, Flow My Tears, the Seven Pavans explores the extraordinary power of music to move us and to express otherwise what is otherwise inexpressible.

Though they are songs of melancholy, Dowland called them “passionate pavans” and in his dedication to Queen Anne of Denmark, he writes: “… though the title does promises tears, yet no doubt pleasant are the tears, which music weeps, neither are tears shed always in sorrow, but sometimes in joy and gladness.”


Here is the first and perhaps the loveliest of the Seven Pavans, the exquisite Lachrimae Antiquae performed by Valeria Mignaco (soprano) and Alfonso Martin (lute)

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